By: CJ Dushinski
Published: March 10, 2015 by Entangled Teen
Kindle, 247 pages
Source: Netgalley ARC from publisher
(Goodreads / Amazon)
Warring families. Forbidden love. And danger they can’t escape…MY REVIEW:
Daggers. Roses. Cowboys. Boat Men. Survivors of Earth's Last War, four “families” vie to rule the dreary streets of Rain City through violence and blood. Valencia Hara, Princess of the wealthy Black Roses, is raised in warrior ways with sharpened steel. But she is no ordinary Rose. She is Cursed—tainted with the ability to see seconds into the future…
To avenge his father's death, Sebastian Leold, of the rival gang Two Daggers, must face off against the Black Princess, he with his dagger, she with her katana sword. Yet a secret from a shared past leaves him unable to kill beautiful Valencia; nor can she kill him. For they once knew each other beyond their blood feud…and they have more secrets in common than they know.
But in a world filled with vengeance and violence, there can be no room for love…
A Romeo-Juliet-esque story: warring families, forbidden love, danger? That's all I had to read on the summary to know this was one story right up my alley. Add in cowboys too - yeehaw! And the cover - gorgeous! It really drew me in, despite it's dark colors.
I found the beginning to be a little slow but really enjoyed the story as it went along. The description was a little deceiving as far as cowboys go. Though that gang is mentioned, they don't ever make a physical appearance. Basically this story is that there are 2 main warring gangs in Rain City - the Black Roses and the Two Daggers. Their war has been long lasting for more than a century and the hate runs deep between the two groups with revenge constantly being taken out on the other into a never-ending cycle. Both groups are blamed for killing the patriarch leader of each gang. But Sebastian, a brother of the head of the Daggers and Valencia, a princess of the Thorns no longer want to hate each other and they find they have a connection that goes far deeper than any they have with the members of their own gangs. Their story is definitely one of forbidden love.
Valencia is a warrior in a line of Samurai fighters and her gang is the most formidable in Rain City and as such holds a wealthier area of the city. Sebastian, though very poor and lives in the slums of the city, is a strong fighter in an Irish gang. They couldn't be more different in how they live.
Then there is the Cursed. They are those who are born with special abilities. The government's security, called Watchmen, wants to capture, imprison, and kill if necessary, all Cursed as they are deemed unnatural. Valencia is Cursed; she has the ability to see seconds into the future which makes her an unbeatable opponent in a battle. That is until she comes up against someone who has a Curse that is more effective than her own ability.
There's fighting, there's danger, there's despair, there's sacrifice and there's love. Many elements which together make up a great fantasy story. I see great potential for this series and look forward to seeing what's next for Sebastian and Valencia.
Though this is categorized as Young Adult, I found the language to be more mature than a lot of books in the same genre. There's a lot of "F bombs" among other "bigger" curse words.
..."life is complicated enough with love, best leave hate well enough alone."
"Are you going to fly us across on your magic carpet?"
"I'm already in your head," he whispered, "and you know it. I'm beating through your pulse. I'm in the air you breathe, because we're the same."
Language Rating: 2 (medium)
Mature Content Rating: 0 (none)
Final Rating: 3.5 stars
This post is part of the ARC Thursday feature on Words Fueled by Love.